| Jan 20, 2010
Standing in the hospital just before dawn the sensation of swaying came from nowhere as the walls buckled with the earthquake. Patients began screaming, praying, sobbing as they ran from the building with memories of the week before fresh. Chaos.
Broken bodies carried on backs, wheelchairs, pieces of wood. As I held a young man's leg I could feel the bones moving in my hands, his cries loud in my ears. They would not go back in the building, so David Jeanne and I walked around putting names, numbers and injuries on surgical tape and placing it on them, trying to calm the fear. I have experienced much in my life, but nothing like this.
He is 24 years old. Studying to be an engineer, he was taking an exam at the university when the building collapsed, crushing his arm. I took his dressing off today and knew...as I told him that his arm would not live tears filled his eyes as his words fell upon my heart---It was my dream to be an engineer. I now have no more dreams. You must never lose your dreams I told him--for they are always possible. You must not give up hope.
Story after story, so many lives lost, shattered as the reality sinks in and the misery does not leave. It is so hard not to collapse into emotion-but then you cannot function. Emotion will come when I return home. For now, I hold it deep inside, and know it is all part of a story I cannot comprehend, only be part of, as my heart breaks this night.